Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa: Relaxation and wellness in the Lake District's most luxurious surroundings

Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa in the Lake DistrictArmathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa in the Lake District
Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa in the Lake District | Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa in the Lake District
The grandeur of an ancient castle with the luxury of a very contemporary spa and timeless elegance of great food adds up to a whole new world of relaxation at Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa

The Lake District has a reputation for glorious landscapes and breath-taking views which create a walkers' paradise. Less well-known is an absolute jewel of a hotel nestled on the edge of Lake Bassenthwaite. Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa is four-star and boasts a location which gives them a clear head start. Surrounded by undulating hills and the dramatic Skiddaw Mountain, it shares acres of ground with wild birds, rabbits, pheasants and deer. You only have to take a deep breath and inhale the beauty to feel your stresses slipping away.

If the setting makes you instantly feel better, stepping through the delightfully imposing doors ramps that up a level. The wood panelled rooms, roaring open fires and perfect blend of modern amenities while fiercely protecting and promoting the history of the building is quite a sight to behold. It surely reminds all who pass that England boasts some uniquely splendid regions.

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The Lake District is one of the crowns which allows us to see back through the centuries, experience a touch of the opulence of past wealth and revel in awe inspiring nature. Armathwaite Hall is most certainly the sparkliest gem in that crown, just a short drive from Keswick.

We were only there for two nights but left feeling like new people. The staff gave a level of service which is rarely seen even in the poshest hotels. Nothing was too much trouble and they make you feel as if you are the most important guest to have ever stayed. They are knowledgeable about the local area, happy to make suggestions for places to visit or things to try, and they create cocktails which are out of this world.

You can even get a glass of fizz delivered to you while you recline in the hottub - what more could a girl's heart desire? The spa highlight is the infinity pool which overlooks the edge of the forest. It doubles as a hottub and the temperature was perfect to push away the chilly English breeze while whiling away hours entertained by a pair of robins putting on a merry dance.

Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa

Rating: Luxury 4-star hotel

Location: Keswick

Size of grounds: 400-acres

Restaurant facilities: Lake View Restaurant

Additional facilities: Leisure Centre with gym and swimming pool, a luxury spa, Lake District Wildlife Park

Package options: Forest Bathing, Wild Swimming, Moon Bathing, Animal, Mindfulness

Lead in room price: £220

Find out more here

There is also an indoor pool and separate hottub as well as a large sauna, steam room and aromatherapy area. None were particularly busy during our stay and you never for a second felt rushed. I indulged in a full body 'drift away' massage. What do you want to get from your treatment, was a question I could only answer with 'relaxation'. If truth be told, after just one night's stay at Armathwaite  Hall, I was already there but 55 minutes of gloriously skilled massage later and I was floating on cloud nine.

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The outdoor pool and hot tub has glorious viewsThe outdoor pool and hot tub has glorious views
The outdoor pool and hot tub has glorious views | Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa

We spent Saturday afternoon in the cocktail bar, playing board games and sampling their inspirational drinks. There are more than 30 cocktails to choose from, pages of wines to select, every kind of spirit you could imagine and more. This was almost my favourite spot, next to an ancient wooden fireplace carved in times when attention to detail was everything and functional objects were so beautiful, they still make us smile centuries later.

My number one view at Armathwaite Hall? Well, that would be the Lake View Restaurant, redesigned from times-gone-by with enormous windows so you can sit and gaze at the utterly stunning lake - endlessly.

The first meal of the day is said to be the most important and, possibly because the demands of working family lives mean it is rarely something that is dallied over, it is definitely the one I love the most. A silver pot of coffee, tiny jug of warm milk, comfortable seats and landscapes to die for ... what more could you ask for? This is a very special experience which won a permanent place in my heart and that was before we even got onto the topic of food.

The breakfast buffet was top notch. There is everything you would expect - cereals, fresh fruits, cheeses, continental meats, pastries - and much more. The Cumbria breakfast is delicious and sets you up for the day. But then the pancakes shouldn't be missed either.

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The spa boasts great facilities both indoor and outThe spa boasts great facilities both indoor and out
The spa boasts great facilities both indoor and out | Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa Pool.jpg

Dinner was superb. Chef somehow manages to balance the best seasonal, Cumbrian specialities with classical French cuisine and creates true gastronomic delights. A goats cheese dish and perfectly cooked scallops made good starters but the chateaubriand for two was marvellous. Served with tomato, mushroom and chip perfection, our only issue was that we hadn't quite done enough exploring of the great outdoors to have enough room for a pudding each. One sticky toffee pudding and two spoons was ample and a tip top finale.

If you are a connoisseur, it is also good to note the exclusive wine list which boasts some of the finest bottles alongside more affordable options. The local beers are also worth sampling and, of course, the cocktail wizardry.Throughout the weekend, it were the little touches that really made us smile. A welcome glass of rose prosecco on arrival and a whole menu of different pillows you can try to help you sleep better ... as if sleep could ever be a problem somewhere as perfect as this. 

The Spa

Spa facilities: 16m infinity edge pool, outdoor hot-tub, tranquillity terrace, outdoor sun terrace, hydrotherapy pool, aroma room, steam room, traditional sauna, tropical shower, rain dance shower, dance/exercise studio, state of the art gymnasium, personal training and fitness assessments, spa lounge, 10 luxurious treatment rooms including one couples room with whirlpool bath, hush relaxation room, dedicated manicure and make-up area.

Half-day spa experiences: Sunrise Spa (Mon-Thurs) - £40pp; Escape Half Day (Mon-Fri) – from £125pp; Sereni-Tea Spa Half Day (Mon-Fri) – from £145pp

Full day spa experiences: Serenity (Mon-Fri) – from £175pp; Yummy Mummy To Be (Mon-Fri) – from £135pp;

To book: Visit or call 017687 76551

Still unspoilt and shaped by the lakes which give the region its name, it is one of the most peaceful spots to enjoy luxury and great British hospitality. Rooted in deep and often turbulent history, it has emerged as a hotel where most people come to escape. It is the perfect romantic destination for a special occasion but absolutely everyone, including families, are welcome. This is a good base for long walks and exploration, and dogs are also welcome to stay with guests which is a key attraction to those planning walking holidays.

Although difficult to pull yourself from the extremely comfortable beds, it is worth an early rise to make the most of your visit. We underestimate staycations and the glory of Great British getaways at our peril. Clouds caressed the peaks of the snow topped hills as we headed home and, though we were sad to leave, the most incredible weekend had filled our hearts with a contentment and joy that we carried with us.

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